FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Funds from Bank of America and Greenway Fund Enable Delaware Park Shelter Restoration
Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Contact: Therese Fuerst, Fuerst Consulting Corp., (716) 200-3593
Bank of America Contact: Tara Burke, (203) 292-6590, [email protected]
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Officials from the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy today, joined by Bank of America, The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund and several dignitaries, kicked off restoration of the historic Rumsey Shelter House. A $250,000 grant from Bank of America to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the first nonprofit organization in the nation to both steward and maintain an historic urban park system, was matched by The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund allowing for completion of the restoration of the Rumsey Shelter in Delaware Park. Renovations are expected to be complete by the spring of 2019.
“This year we have celebrated 150 years since Fredrick Law Olmsted began creating his vision of a Park and Parkway system in Buffalo,” said Stephanie Crockatt, Executive Director, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “Grants like these are exactly the type of support our organization needs to ensure that public amenities such as the Rumsey Shelter House are brought back to their glory. Olmsted parks serve the entire population of Buffalo and the Western New York region year-round, and as such, keeping up with necessary upgrades and restorations is an expensive essential.”
The Rumsey Shelter, located at the Delaware Park entrance just off the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Rumsey Road, has long been vacant. The historic building once offered a comfort station, with bathrooms and a small main room featuring a fireplace. Park users would come to the shelter to take a break from jogging, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on nearby trails. Most of the original interior tilework remains, as do the original windows and interior doors. The fireplace remains, although the mantel shelf is missing and will be reconstructed in the proposed restoration/renovation project). The reconstruction of the mantel shelf will be based on the original construction drawings, which survive in the City Hall archives.
“Bank of America is honored to help advance the community’s growth and provide increased access to beautiful, green open space in recognition of the Olmsted Park System’s 150th Anniversary,” said Kevin Murphy, Buffalo Market President for Bank of America. Parks are a critical component of the urban culture in Buffalo, and we applaud the Conservancy’s efforts in restoring this historic shelter in Delaware Park.”
The Rumsey Shelter House was built in 1935 as a replacement for the 1900 shelter house that was demolished for the Depression-era public works project to widen Delaware Avenue between Forest Avenue and Nottingham Terrace. The road project included the reconstruction of the park road bridge over Delaware Avenue, and both the road and shelter were paid for by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) of the federal government.
“The Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund seeks to enhance the look and feel of the region by improving bicycle and walking trails, park amenities, and canoe, kayak and rowing access,” said Alan Bozer, Chairman of the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee, BOPC Trustee and Partner at Philips Lytle, LLC. “The Standing Committee is proud to partner with Bank of America and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy to ensure that this park amenity is restored to its original glory and is available for all park users to enjoy.”
On behalf of the City of Buffalo, I would to thank Bank of America and The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund for this significant contribution to restore the Rumsey Shelter House and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy for their commitment and stewardship of our historic park system,” said Councilman Feroleto. “This restoration effort will benefit all users of Delaware Park for generations to come.”
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy published its master plan in 2008 – The Plan for the 21st Century – which directs funding priorities of projects across the Olmsted Park system. The rehabilitation of Rumsey Shelter is one of those identified projects. Rest shelters are a key park amenity for public use, and so far the Conservancy has restored similar facilities in MLK Jr. Park and most recently in Cazenovia Park.
To learn more about the various ways your organization can support the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy in this 150th Celebration year please contact Catie Stephenson, Development Officer, at 716-838-1249, ext. 22 or [email protected].
About the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation to manage and operate an entire urban park system. Designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, the 850 acre park system began in 1868 and became the first of its kind in the nation. Today more than 2.5 million people freely use Buffalo’s historic, award-winning Olmsted Parks annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a membership-based, nonprofit, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. Basic maintenance of the parks has been greatly improved since the 2004 groundbreaking public-private agreement between the Conservancy, City of Buffalo and Erie County. The Conservancy administers its mission and park improvements in conjunction with its 2008 master plan: The Plan for the 21st Century. In partnership with the City of Buffalo since 2010, the Conservancy retains responsibility for the operations and care of these public spaces which are listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Most recently, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America and The Guardian named the Olmsted park system as one of the best parks in the world.
The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:
Six parks: Cazenovia Park, Delaware Park, Front Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, Riverside Park, and South Park
Seven parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond
Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony.
About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America, we are guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We are delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter at @BofANews.
About The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund
The Erie County/City of Buffalo Relicensing Settlement Agreement was reached in support of the application for a new license for the Niagara Power Project. One provision was for the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to support the establishment of The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund with an annual $2 million payment for the life of the license beginning in October 2007. The Fund is administered by a Committee comprised of one member each from the City of Buffalo, Erie County, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and NYPA.
The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee has awarded approximately $22 million since its first awards in 2008. More information on the committee can be found at: http://bit.ly/1XA6mTo.
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.